Insight Taps Harmonic for VOD Encryption

Insight Communications Co. Inc. beefed up security for its on-demand content, tapping Harmonic Inc. to supply its “Narrowcast Services Gateway” to control the flow of video streams.

The Narrowcast Services Gateway includes “Privacy Mode” real-time encryption to protect on-demand content and allows it to flow through the backbone in an Internet-protocol transmission scheme, which is much more efficient than standard MPEG-2 delivery.

Real-time encryption has advantages over content encrypted before it is stored in on-demand servers because it eliminates the need to store multiple versions for delivery to customers.

Using the real-time-encryption method, versions of the same video file can be formatted to allow regular play or digital-video-recorder functions such as fast-forward or rewind to fit the box capabilities for the user requesting the stream.

It also allows cable operators to swap in different commercial spots within the streams.

That capability is critical as Insight’s video-on-demand take rate climbs, according to Patrick Forde, the MSO’s vice president of engineering for video platforms.

"As the consumer migration to digital cable continues and VOD usage accelerates, the ability to scale in step with demand and, at the same time, securely transport video assets to the home is a critical business issue," he said. "Streamlining our content-protection scheme with Harmonic's solution provides Insight with a single-system solution for VOD delivery.”